Mylidian - Birth Of The Prophet
Harmanide Entertainment
Symphonic Death/Black/Power Metal
8 songs (41:56)
Release year: 2006
Mylidian, Harmanide Entertainment
Reviewed by Ken
Album of the month

Birth Of The Prophet is the ambitious debut full-length from France’s Mylidian. I first heard of the band last December by way of a French music site hosting an MP3 of the song “Chaos Prophet.” I downloaded it and loved it. Later, I tracked down the band’s website and learned that the upcoming album would be part of a trilogy called Rise Of The Cursed Son. It was finally released in April and I, of course, could find it nowhere; the band couldn’t even help me. I was untrusting to the end, but I recently went through the Russian label Irond Ltd. to acquire the album. I feared a bootleg, but, thankfully, I got the real deal.

Birth Of The Prophet is based on a story written by Eric Trumelet, a friend who the band members played Role-Playing Games (RPGs) with. The concept of this album is based on an RPG storyline written by Trumelet. In fact, Mylidian is a world in an RPG that the band will be releasing soon! Ambitious, indeed.

The story focuses on a young man named Antoine. He is scheduled to be sacrificed by his father, a member of The Great Circle of the Archmages, on his sixteenth birthday. The sacrifice is to precede the coming of the 7 Higher Forces (the Church); Antoine’s father will use the sacrifice to banish one of the seven Lords. Instead, Antoine’s mother convinces her husband to let her take her son’s place. Antoine, unaware he was to be sacrificed, comes home to find his mother sacrificed on an altar and his father nowhere to be found.

The banishment failed.

Slowly, as the Church and those against it collide, Antoine comes to know the potential of his magical powers and begins to use them in ever-increasing deviant ways; the magic engulfs him, he denies his father, rejects authority and religion, and is further drawn to the supernatural. He later falls victim to Lilith, Queen of the Succubus, and descends into chaos. Thus, becoming The Chaos Prophet.

That synopsis may sound a bit ridiculous, but the lyrics are well-written and flow smoothly. Musically, Mylidian sound like a heavy mix of Therion (all eras, but the earliest), Dimmu Borgir, After Forever, and latter day Blind Guardian. Birth Of The Prophet kicks off with “Chaos Prophet,” a fast-paced, aggressive power metal anthem with amazing symphonic elements and a brilliant choir-filled chorus, similar to the most recent output from Therion. The song’s—and, for that matter, the album’s—only problem are the vocals of Armendar, the sole male vocalist who utilizes a different style for four separate characters: Antoine, Clyde, the narrator, and a demon. It’s a minor problem overall; the clean vocals and the death/black metal rasps are outstanding, it’s the mid-range aggressive vocals that occasionally sound out of place, especially the accent when reading along with the lyrics. However, “Chaos Prophet,” and the other songs, are simply too good to be greatly diminished by this minor flaw. Vocally, “Lust With Succubus” takes a step toward a more Broadway feel with back-and-forth vocal work from Antoine and Lillith, but musically it starts mellow and leads into a choir-laden, blastbeat-ridden symphonic masterpiece! “Pleasures Of Pain” rides atop a fierce thrash riff, double-bass, and subtle orchestral touches accompanied by slightly less bombastic choir work. Death/black metal bleeds from “Monastery Slaughter,” again punctuated by the symphonic elements and a killer mid-section groove, while the remaining tracks, including the epic three-part closer, “The Cursed Son” (better heard than spoken about), take and exploit the best elements already offered on the previous tracks, except the short, lulling instrumental, “Litany”; all making for one amazing album.

Mylidian has previously released a few demos, but generally bands don’t tackle such a grandiose project right out the gates. Regardless of its rarity, Mylidian has succeeded with high marks. The album probably would have fared better with guest vocalists covering the various male characters, but Armendar truly does a good to excellent job depending on which voice he is using. The musicianship is exceptional, as is the production and choirs, and the beautiful soprano courtesy of Caroline Dalle-Vedove. The first chapter in the story Rise Of The Cursed Son is an intriguing and highly entertaining one; even if it doesn’t completely translate into English perfectly, you can fill in the blanks and bridge the gap to a truly enjoyable read/listen.

For many moths this young French band had me intrigued. They not only met, but exceeded my expectations. Birth Of The Prophet is a brilliant debut.

AUDIO: Chaos Prophet, Monastery Slaughter and Album Medley

Note: In time these links will likely becoming outdated.

Killing Songs :
Chaos Prophet, Lust With Succubus, Pleasures Of Pain, Monastery Slaughter and The Cursed Son
Ken quoted 90 / 100
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